This week in the roundup we cover free rock-n-roll in Steamboat, the Copenhagen summit and nonprofit citizen journalism in Colorado
One of the big stories last week was the climate conference in Copenhagen, where world leaders produced their share of hot air before announcing an “accord” that at least recognizes the global nature of the issue.
There are no hard and fast targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but there is consensus to keep working toward some meaningful limits that might keep us from cooking ourselves to death.
If you’re a global warming skeptic, then your job just got harder. Instead of convincing the rest of us that it’s just a few self-seeking scientists who are perpetuating the global warming “hoax,” you now have to explain how basically all the nations of the world are part of a planetary conspiracy to perpetuate scientific fraud on this issue.
In a Sunday story, the UK-based Guardian put it this way: “Copenhagen Summit: ‘First step’ to a a new order, or a ‘betrayal of our grandchildren?”
It’s a global story, and the Guardian did a good job of summarizing the positions of leaders of several nations, including Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Nikolas Sarkozy.
And here’s a link to an op-ed piece on global warming that ran in 56 newspapers around the world, in some cases on the front page.
Big Head Todd plays free Steamboat show
A little closer to home, the Steamboat Pilot ran a story about about Big Head Todd & the Monsters appearing this week in Steamboat Springs at the Gondola Square Stage. The free show is part of the festivities surrounding Olympic trials in freestyle and Nordic combined skiing in the northern Colorado town, which has produced more winter Olympians than any other ski country burg.
Salida looks at medical marijuana issue
As the Summit County Voice starts to look at various models for creating a sustainable nonprofit news web site, we’ve found a few other similar operations around the region, including the Salida Citizen.
The Citizen is, according to its web site, “a volunteer project by residents of Salida, Colorado, to improve coverage of critical local issues, support smart decision-making, and facilitate positive communication between elected officials, City staff and concerned local citizens.”
This sound similar to the approach we want to take with the Summit County Voice, and we’ll be touching base with the folks in Salida soon to do some brainstorming.
Read the Citizen’s “About” page for more information.
Meanwhile, the Salida Citizen recently asked veteran reporter Ann Marie Swan to take a look at the medical marijuana issue. The result is a nicely done story that goes several levels deeper than the reporting you’ll find on the topic in most newspapers. Read it here.
Nonprofit journalism in the Roaring Fork Valley
We also learned that a group of citizens in Carbondale is working on a nonprofit basis to produce the weekly Sopris Sun, with an emphasis on local land use issues. This week, the Sun takes a look at potential plans for a new grocery store and a new library.
A couple of other stories focus on local property tax issues, including how the fire district board recently voted to retain a property tax windfall based on increased valuations.
Ski expansion battle continues in Crested Butte
In Crested Butte, the U.S. Forest Service decided to accept an appeal on a decision it made to deny an expansion of the ski area on to Snodgrass Mountain. At first, the forest Supervisor said the decision was not appealable, but last week decided he would “welcome a review,” according to the Crested Butte News, which covered the story here.
Jackson Hole Underground
We’ve also started following a blog out of Wyoming called Jackson Hole Underground. Last week, the alternative news source (founded by a long-time local journalist) blogged about journalism in Summit County, directly addressing the issue of how large ski companies wield influence and how corporate print media undercuts its own crumbling credibility by giving in to pressure from advertisers.
The blog thread includes the canned response from the Vail Resorts PR machine and the obligatory links to Vail chief Rob Katz’s take on the situation. As in every other thread on this topic, the comments from readers suggest that most people see through the corporate smokescreen to the heart of the issue: freedom of speech and the importance of an independent press.